This blog is called from Bitter Waters to Sweet because one of its purposes is to deal with the bitter issues facing women and how they can move from a place of bitterness to a place of sweetness in the Lord.
There are many obstacles in the way, but I want to focus on one in particular.
One of the major obstacles is when women let certain men define what sweetness is for women.
We touched on it in the past in my dealing with the Song of Solomon and one man's determination to make a verse from a woman's point of view all about something that many men like, in particular what he thought would be sweet for a woman to do for him. Since it is pretty much R rated, we won't cover it again.
But now I've found another place where a man has decided to define 'sweet' for women. I mentioned this man in the previous post. His name is John Piper and there is a link to a video of him talking about what a woman's submission to an abusive man would look like.
Around the two minute mark of this video he begins to model a very sweet speech that he expects a woman to follow if her husband is pressuring her into gross sin. It goes like this.
Honey, I want so much to follow you as my leader. God calls me to do that and I would love to do that. It would be sweet to me if I could enjoy your leadership. But if you ask me to do this, require this of me, then I can't. I can't go there.
Rather than allowing a woman a natural, angry response to a man pushing her into gross sin, she has to detour and talk about wanting him as her leader, enjoying his leadership and even saying that it would be sweet for her to enjoy his leadership.
John Piper does not allow women to be human and react against men who are hurting them. They can't be honest and say, "You are hurting me. You are sinning against me and God. You are hurting yourself. You are being selfish and self-centered. Stop it! Stop it now! Get out of my house and out of my face until you repent from your wicked ways..." or any other of a number of normal, healthy, angry, human responses to blatant wickedness.
No, he doesn't allow a woman to do that. If she does that, she is going against God's plan of joyful submission. Instead, she is to tell him how sweet it would be if she could enjoy his leadership.
Is it sweet for women to enjoy the leadership of men?
Piper doesn't know. He's never lived it. He can't attest to it.
All he knows is how sweet it is for men to have submissive little wives who are trained on how NOT to be honest and open about their own pain and how NOT to confront blatant sin in a man who is abusing them.
I'm sure this is a very sweet deal for men.
But they should not make the mistake thinking that if something is sweet for them, this automatically makes it sweet for women. It doesn't work that way. No matter how much Piper wants it to work that way, it simply doesn't.
Let me tell you one thing that, as a woman, I have found to be sweet. It is sweet for women to have the freedom to be human and have healthy human responses to gross sin and abuse. What is sweet to women is having the freedom to be honest about their pain and how bitter things really are. Then once a woman has the chance to deal with her bitterness and with what is causing the bitterness rather than have to lie about it, bury it, and worst of all, call it sweet, she can sweep away male definitions of sweetness and male expectations and turn to God Who offers true sweetness.
Sorry Piper. You have no authority to define sweet for me or any other woman.
But my God is intimately acquainted with me. And as Jesus, He has experienced the oppression of men and has even died at their hands. He has known my bitterness and more. And He knows what true sweetness is and how to make my bitter waters sweet.
He has the authority in this, Piper. Not you.